Updated 29 June: Arona Ayuntamiento has confirmed that the first of the analyses carried out under the new increased testing regime shows that water quality in the council’s beaches is “excellent”. The frequency of analysis was recently increased because of various outbreaks of E.Coli in municipalities from Candelaria to Granadilla – all on the east coast of Tenerife – and as of yesterday Las Teresitas in Santa Cruz was closed because “bacteria” were found in the water there.
None the less, Arona’s waters are fine and more than fit for bathing, the council says, and in neighbouring Granadilla, El Médano yesterday raised the blue flag it was granted in this year’s awards, with Mayor José Domingo Regalada confirming that the latest analysis discounts the presence of any E.Coli bacteria. The council has assured the public that the independent investigation continues into the recent episodes which have closed the beach.
The Health Authorities also say that there is no issue any longer with any potential problem from algae around Tenerife’s coasts since it has dissipated with the passing of the heatwave. Salud Publica confirms that in any case it was only a health risk where there was a “massive floration” which in addition approached the coast, in which case councils were advised to close beaches.
Updated 24 June: Arona Ayuntamiento is stepping up its quality and security controls on beaches in the municipality after E. Coli has been found in beaches between nearby El Médano and Candelaria. From tomorrow Canaragua will quadruple the frequency of its analysis from twice a month to twice a week, this in addition to the Cabildo’s checks. The results of all such tests are already publicly available on the council’s website. Mayor Mena was at pains to point out that there is no problem, but that precautionary measures were being taken precisely to avoid anything in Arona such as has occurred in Granadilla with El Médano over the past week or so.
Updated 22 June: Granadilla Ayuntamiento has reopened El Médano beach after the latest analyses of water quality indicate that the water is safe for bathing with an E.Coli index of 10 ufc/100ml, well below the permitted level of 500 ufc/100 ml. It is unclear why yesterday’s analysis showed 640 ufc/100 ml and the council says that it has initiated an investigation by independent analysts into the precise causes of this situation. The council has also asked water company Entemanser to carry out the necessary checks in the whole supply network. Not the most thoroughly comforting situation, perhaps, but the latest results do show that the sea at El Médano is safe for bathing, and the council would not be able to reopen the beach otherwise.
Updated 21 June: Granadilla Ayuntamiento has again closed El Médano beach after water analysis indicated E.Coli contamination of 640 ufc/100 ml, above the permitted level of 500 ufc/100 ml. In a statement the council said that it had instructed Entemanser to carry out an investigation into the specific cause of the contamination, and that this would include whether there was a common cause with the same problem in Candelaria, where the beach has also been closed as of yesterday.
Updated 15 June: Granadilla Ayuntamiento has reopened the beaches this lunchtime. In a statement the council said that the specific stretch at issue is between Playa Chica and Los Balos, after analysis from the Servicio de Inspección Sanitario Canario showed that the water was completely safe for bathing. Yesterday’s closure was precautionary, but in the event the sample tested from yesterday showed Eschericha Coli of 1 ufc/100 ml when the normal parameter is <250 ufc/100 ml.
Original post 14 June: Granadilla Ayuntamiento has closed beaches today as a precautionary measure after detecting E.Coli contamination at El Médano beach. The area affected is between Playa Chica and the Los Balos beach. The council says that it has commissioned specific analysis, and the results are expected within the next 48 hours. The discovery was made during routine water quality checking, and the council says that the beaches willremain closed at least until the results of the specific analysis are received even though the health risk is small.